Due to global warming, the challenges associated with the utilisation of water and its many functions are becoming increasingly significant and complex, with the canton of Valais being at the forefront of this development in its role as Switzerland’s water reservoir. In order to conserve and promote appreciation of this precious resource, Alpiq has launched the #prixalpiq in collaboration with the Association of Concession-Granting Municipalities of the Canton of Valais (Association des communes concédantes du Valais; ACC). Each year, this prize will be awarded to a municipality in the Swiss canton of Valais in recognition of a project that promotes sustainable and efficient water management, for example in the fields of agriculture, energy, tourism and the environment.
Each year, a jury will select the project that best fulfils the evaluation criteria. In particular, the following criteria will be taken into account: sustainability, added value for the municipality and its inhabitants, technical and financial feasibility and the level of innovation. The winning municipality will receive a prize with a total value of CHF 40,000, at least CHF 20,000 of which will be paid out in cash. Depending on the type of project, the municipality will receive a portion of the prize in the form of a coaching programme. For a period of twelve months, Alpiq will support the winner and assist them with the implementation of their project. The jury will also award a CHF 10,000 cash prize to the “Winner of hearts”.
The #prixalpiq is designed to offer tangible support to municipalities, which are facing increasingly numerous and diverse challenges in the field of water management. The competition is open to all municipalities in the canton of Valais. The #prixalpiq also addresses universities and planning offices, as well as anyone with an idea or project relating to water utilisation. Interested parties can approach a municipality to assume the project patronage and thus submit a joint candidature. The #prixalpiq will be presented for the very first time in October 2021 during a festive ceremony. Applications can be submitted until 31 May 2021.
The Association of Concession-Granting Municipalities is partnering the #prixalpiq in order to help municipalities formulate their “water strategy” and to develop a long-term perspective for the management of this multifaceted resource. The association strives to generate a lasting and positive impact on the municipalities and their inhabitants. This objective is shared by Alpiq, which has been working with the municipalities of Valais for more than a century in order to tap into this precious and renewable energy source.
The #prixalpiq is also linked to the BlueArk Challenge. The BlueArk Challenge is a call for the submission of projects that apply innovative ideas and technologies to solve the problems faced by professionals and other stakeholders in the water management sector. The 2020 Challenge, organised by BlueArk Entremont, focuses on dealing with extreme climate events.
For this first edition of #prixalpiq, the jury will consist of twelve people from various fields, all of whom have agreed to work independently and on a voluntary basis to support this project and thus promote sustainable water utilisation and the Valais municipalities:
Samantha Anderson, CEO and co-founder of DePoly SA, winner of the Prix Venture 2019
Philipp Bregy, National Councillor and attorney at law
Christoph Bürgin, Chairman of the Association of Concession-Granting Municipalities of the Canton of Valais
Raoul Calame, Director of the Grächen tourist information office
Laurent Horvath, Innovation Manager, BlueArk Entremont
Sydney Kamerzin, National Councillor and attorney at law
Yaël Margelisch, paragliding runner-up world champion 2019 and three-time world record holder
David Melly, Vice-Chairman of the Association of Concession-Granting Municipalities of the Canton of Valais
Amédée Murisier, Head of Hydropower Generation, Alpiq
Eric Nanchen, Director of the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions, FDDM
Line Pillet, Head of the Institute of Entrepreneurship & Management, HES-SO Valais-Wallis
Mauro Salvadori, Head of Public Relations, Alpiq